Friday, November 21, 2008

Dharma - Nonviolence in Every Action

We all find our own ways of navigating day to day. I find some aspects of Buddhist practice helpful, so I humbly share an occasional dharma thought:

"Nonviolence belongs to a continuum from the personal to the global, and from the global to the personal.... [Applying] this ideal to daily life, nonviolence is not some exalted regimen that can be practiced only by a monk or a master; it also pertains to the way one interacts with a child, vacuums a carpet, or waits in line.

"Besides the more obvious forms of violence, whenever we separate ourselves from a given situation (for example, through inattentiveness, negative judgments, or impatience), we 'kill' something valuable. However subtle it may be, such violence actually leaves victims in its wake: people, things, one's own composure, the moment itself.

"According to the Buddhist reckoning, these small-scale incidences of violence accumulate relentlessly, are multiplied on a social level, and become a source of the large-scale violence that can sweep down upon us so suddenly. . . . One need not wait until war is declared and bullets are flying to work for peace. A more constant and equally urgent battle must be waged each day against the forces of one's own anger, carelessness, and self-absorption."

-from Keneth Kraft, Inner Peace, World Peace (Nonviolence)